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How to Choose the Best Soccer Ball by Age

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Millions of people play soccer daily, from professional athletes in the Premier League to your local youth soccer clubs. Soccer balls are an essential piece of equipment needed to play this game. However, if your family is new to soccer, it is more complex than grabbing a ball and hitting the pitch. Soccer balls come in various sizes. It is crucial to get the right size ball for your needs.

There are many different sizes of soccer balls available to purchase, so choosing the right ball for your athlete can be overwhelming. In this article, we will review what size soccer ball should be used for your athlete's age group and level of play so you can make an informed decision when purchasing yours online or at a store! Below we've provided some guidance for selecting the right soccer ball for your youth athlete.

Size 1 3 4 5
Age   <8 8-12 13+
Circumference (in) 18-20 23-24 25-26 27-28
  • Size 1 – Best for skill training
  • Size 3 – Best for Junior
  • Size 4 – Best for Youth
  • Size 5 – Best for Adult

Consider this: Why is the size of the ball so important for players?

Similar to how people feel comfortable in clothes tailored to their specific size, the same holds true for soccer balls. If a ball doesn't match a player's gameplay style, they won't feel comfortable using it. Soccer balls typically range in size from 1 to 5, with the age limit increasing in correlation with the size number. While adults typically select the right size ball, younger players often make the mistake of choosing a ball that is not proportionate to their age. This can hinder skill development at an early age and have a significant impact on their game later in life. It is crucial for parents and coaches to match the ball to the player's age from the beginning. In this article, we will explore the different available balls, starting with the smallest soccer ball.

Athlete age: 8 and under

Soccer ball size: 3

A size three soccer ball is one of the smallest sizes available on the market today—they measure between 23-24 inches in circumference around the middle and weigh about 11 ounces. If your child is between the ages of 5-8, this will probably be the best choice for them; however, if they have reached their eighth birthday but still isn't ready for something bigger (such as a size 4), then this ball could work as well.

Athlete age: 8-12-year-olds

Soccer ball size: 4

Size four soccer balls are for 8-12-year-olds. They measure 25-26 inches in circumference around the middle and weigh 12-13 ounces.

Size four soccer balls are the perfect size for kids who have just started school and are showing an interest in sports; they're also a good choice if you have an eight-year-old who's been playing with smaller sizes for a while now but hasn't quite mastered them yet. This size is the standard for most youth soccer leagues.

These balls are the easiest and most flexible to kick and control, making them perfect for children learning to kick and play. If you have a child between the ages of 8-11, this size ball is ideal for them.

Athlete age: 12 and up

Soccer ball size: 5 

A size five soccer ball is for kids 12 or older, and the largest size of soccer ball is also the most common size used by adult recreational players. Its circumference is 27-28 inches around the middle, weighing 14-16 ounces.

Size five soccer balls are the perfect size for kids starting high school or middle school who want to get involved with organized sports, especially if they're looking for a heavy ball that can withstand punishment from kicks or throws without going flat too quickly.

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Kids grow quickly! Choose the right-sized soccer ball, so they can have fun and learn simultaneously.

If you have young players who are still growing and developing their skills, choosing an appropriately sized ball will help them develop their game faster by allowing them more control over the ball.

In general, younger players should use smaller balls to get used to handling something lighter than what an adult would use. Practicing with a smaller size allows them better control over where they kick the ball when playing games.

On the other hand, if your child has been playing soccer regularly from a very young, they might be playing at a higher level. More advanced athletes might be interested in playing with a larger ball than typically recommended for their age group. 

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